Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday took a holy dip in Ganga at Prayagraj- the venue of the Kumbh - along with other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. The chief minister was also accompanied by Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri and several saints. Earlier, the chief minister prayed at an iconic temple of Lord Hanuman and took part in an 'aarti' and performed rituals. He also chaired a meeting of Uttar Pradesh Cabinet in the city – the first time in history. The meeting was attended by his deputies Dinesh Sharma and Keshav Prasad Maurya at the sprawling tented complex on the banks of 'Sangam', the confluence of three rivers - the Ganges, the Yamuna, and the mythical Saraswati.
After the Cabinet meeting, Adityanath welcomed the Centre's move of approaching the Supreme Court for the release of excess land acquired around the disputed site in Ayodhya and be handed over to the Ramjanambhoomi Nyas.
"I welcome this move by the Centre. The Centre's application to start work on the non-disputed land is welcome. This is on one's own respect of faith and a dispute that has been going on for years. We've been telling this from the beginning, the application that has been sent by the Central government, we must get permission to work on the undisputed land. We welcome the Central government's this move," he said.
The Cabinet also gave approval to a six-lane expressway that will connect Western Uttar Pradesh to Prayagraj. To be named as the 'Ganga Expressway', the project – once completed – will be world's longest with the approximate length being 600 km. The project stretched over 6,550 hectares of land will cost the UP government Rs 36,000 crore.
The Cabinet also decided to give state GST exemption to Bollywood blockbuster 'Uri: The Surgical Strike'. "This is a movie on the surgical strikes, the Cabinet has decided to exempt it from state GST. This film is about the country's valour and will instil a feeling of nationalism and patriotism... This will help youth and all citizens of the country to see it," Adityanath said.
The film features Vicky Kaushal, Paresh Rawal, Mohit Raina and Yami Gautam in lead roles.